Election Procedures for New Constitution



  • While Commission and Court of Justice election type clauses have not yet been drafted in the European Constitutional Committee, it has been decided that it would be more appropriate for the full Council to determine what these are. Current choices include, but are not limited to:

    System "A": The candidate for European Commission with the most votes becomes Premier. The candidate with the next highest amount of votes gets a generic spot on the Commission and the next highest gets a spot, etc until they are all filled. The Premier then assigns the Commissioners-Elect to specific offices. The candidate for ECoJ with the most votes becomes Chief Justice. The candidate with the next highest amount of votes becomes a Justice and the next highest, etc. until they are all filled. The candidate for Speaker with the most votes becomes Speaker.

    System "B": Candidates can run specifically for Premier and the generic Commission separately, as with Chief Justice and Justice. The rest of the voting is the same as System A.

    System "C" Alternative/Preferential Voting. Candidates are ranked in order of preference and a computer calculates the will of the majority. Votes are not "wasted" as in other systems - once a vote total reaches the threshold of victory, additional votes for that candidate are transferred to the next highest preference.

    System A is the original method of voting used in the present Constitution. System B is the experimental replacement tried in the past election. System C is an Angleteric proposal for the new Constitution. The selection is not limited to these, the Council may come up with whatever it desires.

    Being a Council Discussion, there is no time limit for deliberation



  • I would like to ask if Councillor Keith could explain the Angleteric proposal a little more fully. I'm a little confused about how the votes will shift under the system.



  • I'll explain it in the form of this document:

    QUOTE

    Preferential Voting for the European Commission

    Let us assume that there are seven candidates for the Commission, and 20 nations cast a vote. To get elected, a candidate will need to get 1/6 of the vote or more, i.e. 3 1/3 votes or more (because 1 winner needs 1/2 of the vote, so 2 winners would need 1/3, and 5 winners would need 1/6). Everyone ranks as many or as few candidates as they want in order of preference.

    Of the seven candidates, three are from the EFP (Alan, Brenda, Chris). Alan got six 1st-preference votes and so is elected. Four of his voters put Brenda as 2nd-preference, while two put Chris. So Brenda will get 2/3 of the surplus vote, that which Alan didn't need to get in, while Chris will get 1/3. Since there were 2 2/3 surplus votes, Brenda gets (2/3)*(2 2/3)=1 7/9 added to her total, while Chris gets (1/3)*(2 2/3)=8/9 added to his. This can easily be done using a computer programme or even a spreadsheet.

    So then we find the next candidate who's reached the quota, or if there isn't one, eliminate the lowest candidate and transfer their votes. This is repeated until we have a Commission. If a voter's 2nd-preference is for a candidate who's already through or out, it goes straight to 3rd-preference.

    We then have to determine the Premier, so we go back to first preferences, transferring the votes of unsuccessful candidates to their favourite successful candidate. Then we eliminate the lowest-placed candidate and transfer their votes, and repeat until one candidate has a >50% majority.

    There's also a spreadsheet of how this imaginary vote was run here:

    Office 07-10
    Office 97-03

    This system would, as Cllr. Devoy explained, minimise 'wasted' votes and ensure proportionality within our Commissions, while ensuring the race for Premier is fair without it being completely separate from the normal race as per the system used to elect the current Commission. It would also, as far as I can tell, eliminate the need for runoffs and would thus save time. All voters need to do is rank as many candidates as they like in order of preference.



  • I support system B. The B method separates the elections for the highest authorities in their respected branches. It also allows for minority candidates to get elected into office.

    I have a potential criticism of System C. What if the EFP decided to run 5 representatives in the next Commission election? This preference voting would allow a possible commission solely consisted of EFP members. If one part contains the majority of the voting populous they could simply list there voting preferences along only party lines which would look as follows:

    1.EFP
    2.EFP
    3.EFP
    4.EFP
    5.EFP

    Strait line voting by party members could lead to tyranny by the majority party. Although I do not see this happening in the upcoming elections, we are amending the constitution for the long term. The future EU may not be as quint-partisan as we are currently. A potential dominance by one party is intolerable for any institution.



  • Surely under System A or B they could vote tactically? If there are 15 EFPers, 2 EPPers, 2 PESers, and 1 PELer (and I can't see any way the EFP or anyone else could get all 5 seats with less than 75% support), then the EFPers could give 3 votes to each candidate and get in. Or alternatively, get some candidates through and the others into a runoff which they could dominate more easily.

    Indeed, with System B, a dominant party candidate for Premier could, as Premier Liszckoszi did, withdraw from the Regular List, and free up an even larger number of votes for that party in the Regular List. At the last election, it was possible that with enough vote-spreading and another candidate from the EFP, and too little tactical voting from the EPP, there would be 4 EFP Commissioners now, as opposed to 3. So I don't think this potential (albeit unlikely) problem is any more endemic to System C than A or B, and we could quite easily pass a law banning any Europarty from having all five Commissioners.



  • I should also reiterate that one need not rank all the candidates by preference. You can vote for as many as you want, even just for the one. It merely allows for voters who want to have 2nd, 3rd, or more preferences to have them if they so wish.



  • Well I'm glad to hear Councillor Keith say that people wouldn't be forced to preference their votes if they didn't want to under System C. However I still do have some problems with that system. It sounds to me, and correct me if I'm wrong Cllr. Keith, that system C is just system A with the preferences and doing strategic voting for the voters. I'm not against the idea of strategic voting but I am against the idea of having it done for you by the system. Voting strategically should take effort amongst the parties to organize it all. By allowing system C you allow the practice, one that I frown upon, of switching votes mid election. (OOC: Votes shouldn't be allowed to be edited and this system basically legalizes that without you actually having to do the editing. Same result.)

    As far as system B goes I share the same concerns as Cllr. Keith.

    Personally, out of all these, I'm in favor of system A because everyone has their one vote. I don't think that you should have to declare a split candidacy between Premier and just regular commission. The person with the most votes in system A has the most support for the premiership. (OOC: It's also kind of inefficient for the two vote system to have vote for someone in both categories.)



  • "I would absolutely agree with Cllr. Roebuck in his estimation that System A is preferable to System B. However, let us think why we put System B in place- it was because we wanted to be able to vote for our favourite candidate for Commission without fear that we would be wasting our vote and risking our least favourite candidate getting the Premiership. That's what System C and preferential voting solves. It demands that a Premier be elected with a majority, not with a plurality, and saves time by having an instant runoff for the Premiership. It ensures a proportional Commission that represents the will of the nations of Europe. It enhances voter choice and competition between candidates, even within the same party, and thus would keep the Commission more in touch with and accountable to the voters."

    "We can make Commission elections more open and more fair, and I believe System C is the way to do it. Under System A, you can be elected Premier with only 30% of the vote- indeed, Vooleeck's second victory was with 36% of the vote, while two ELDL candidates had 36% between them, and the two EPP candidates 18% between them. The PEL had 9%. Had the ELDL vote not been split and the EPP vote coalesced behind the one ELDL candidate, that candidate would've got 55% of the vote and become Premier. But that didn't happen, because of the quite understandable need to get one's favourites onto the Commission. That is the limitation of System A- you can either have a representative Premier, a proportional(-ish) Commission, or not really get either. With System C, you can have both, and that's what I think this region deserves."



  • But System C is rather complicated, which would make the elections difficult to follow and to understand. Also, it will make the outcome of the election not very transparent.

    I prefer System B, as in that case, we know who has ambitions to become the Premier Commissioner and who hasn't. We can vote for our favourite PC, and our favourite Commissioner separately. I agree with Councillor Frank, and I support system B.

    However, I prefer a system that makes sure no candidate can run for the Commission and the office of PC. That would be different than the experimental system we used last election, as for example Mr. Barcelo and Mr. Cherton ran for both the Commission and the office of PC. I don't think we risk we'll have not enough candidates to fill all seats, as there are more than enough active nations who present a candidate.



  • I believe there may be some unintended consequences of not allowing a candidate to go for the Premier and regular Commission. You risk making the Premiereship an unopposed race won by the Party with the most membership heading into the elections. Who would put themselves up for the Premiership without thinking they have pretty good chances of winning. And when you make the Premiership an unopposed race that means the most popular party automatically has the next spot in the Commission as well.



  • I'm afraid I don't agree with that. It would create an opportunity for the europarties to talk with each other, to come to agreements and to nominate a common candidate. If you have just mixed PC-Commission elections, the candidate of the party with most support will most likely win. When you separate them, you create a more exciting race, with more debates, and I think the highest office of the European Union deserves that.



  • "I don't think it's as difficult to understand as you think. I'll try:

    • Voters rank as many candidates as they want in order of preference.
    • A candidate needs a quota of 1/6 of the vote to get in.
    • If a candidate has achieved the quota, they are in. Votes in excess of the quota (the surplus) go to others based on who the candidate's voters put next.
    • So if 1/3 of Candidate 1's supporters put Candidate 2 next, then Candidate 2 would get 1/3 of the surplus.
    • If no candidate has achieved the quota, the last placed candidate goes out, and all their votes go to the next preferences.
    • This is repeated until either we get a full Commission, or we get two people vying for the final seat, in which case the one with the most votes is in.
    • Then we reset everything to number of first-preference votes, and transfer unsuccessful candidates' votes to voters' favourite successful candidates.
    • Same for successful candidates who don't want to run for Premier.
    • The last placed Commissioner-elect is eliminated, and their votes go to the next preference.
    • Repeat until someone has 50%+ of the vote, and they become Premier.And that's without the example spreadsheet. I won't say this system is as simple as System A or System B, but it isn't rocket science, and the result is more proportional and more representative. It's worth it. I would again agree with Cllr. Roebuck on System B and the Occoronian proposals."


  • Of course it?s not rocket science, and it shouldn?t be. The election of the most important persons of the European Union should be an open one, and I think this system limits that.

    A separate race for Commissioner and Premier Commissioner would oblige every PC candidate to look for support outside his own europarty. No one will indeed run as he has no chance at all to become PC. That?s why the candidates will have to talk with other europarties, try to convince them. That will increase the activity in our European Union, as more debates will follow. The candidate with the most support will win, that?s true. But at least, he will have more support than only his own europarty. And that?s only good for the democracy.



  • "An open system is one where votes aren't all funnelled towards a small number of leading candidates for tactical purposes. That is System C. An open system is one designed to accurately represent the will of the electorate. That is System C. And if you want candidates to have to get votes from outside one's 'comfort zone', then System C has second and third preference votes for candidates to seek and demands a Premier be elected with more than 50% of the vote."



  • QUOTE (Angleter @ Mar 3 2012, 02:29 PM)

    "I don't think it's as difficult to understand as you think. I'll try:

    • Voters rank as many candidates as they want in order of preference.
    • A candidate needs a quota of 1/6 of the vote to get in.
    • If a candidate has achieved the quota, they are in. Votes in excess of the quota (the surplus) go to others based on who the candidate's voters put next.
    • So if 1/3 of Candidate 1's supporters put Candidate 2 next, then Candidate 2 would get 1/3 of the surplus.
    • If no candidate has achieved the quota, the last placed candidate goes out, and all their votes go to the next preferences.
    • This is repeated until either we get a full Commission, or we get two people vying for the final seat, in which case the one with the most votes is in.
    • Then we reset everything to number of first-preference votes, and transfer unsuccessful candidates' votes to voters' favourite successful candidates.
    • Same for successful candidates who don't want to run for Premier.
    • The last placed Commissioner-elect is eliminated, and their votes go to the next preference.
    • Repeat until someone has 50%+ of the vote, and they become Premier.And that's without the example spreadsheet. I won't say this system is as simple as System A or System B, but it isn't rocket science, and the result is more proportional and more representative. It's worth it. I would again agree with Cllr. Roebuck on System B and the Occoronian proposals."

    Call me an idiot then, because I found this confusing. Although I'm sure that most of you here a competent enough to maneuver the "C System", I believe we should keep this system simple. A simple system in which every Councillor has one vote. Not six votes or fractions of votes. If I voted for candidate "A" I want my vote to be theirs exclusively and I would relish the fact that they already had 65% of the vote sewn up. All this system does is turning voting into a complicated framework that a few will ever completely and entirely know the workings of. Also even more unforgivably, "System C" will display results in a way that it does not represent the people. Even if an election is won in a landslide the statistics will show the race as close, because of the redistribution of votes.



  • "It is one vote. The system used is indeed called the 'Single Transferable Vote', emphasis on the 'single'. What sets System C apart is that the single vote is, yes, transferable, so as to eliminate the pressure to vote tactically, and to return a Commission that represents the will of the electorate. One can still vote for only one candidate if one so wishes, and the results will be displayed representatively- if Candidate A gets a massive proportion of the vote, then they will be shown easily surpassing the quota and getting elected on the first count- only now the 'excess' votes won't be wasted. In the race for Premier, they will get the majority needed in an early round, or win by a convincing margin in the final head-to-head."

    "I still think this system is simple, especially from the voter's end, and I would like to ask Cllr. Frank to clarify what he finds confusing about it?

    The quota- well, if to win an election for one seat you need over 1/2 of the votes (the basis of System C's way of electing the Premier), then to win an election for five seats you need over 1/6 of the votes.

    The surplus- well, say that a candidate has double the quota, so half of their votes are over the surplus. We could just pick half the votes at random, but so as to take every voter into consideration, we split all the votes in half and redistribute one half according to their next preferences.

    Or is it something else? There are also graphics and examples available to explain STV and AV further, if you want. Here's one I made earlier, explaining the surplus votes."



  • "System C appears to be the most likely to reflect the desires of the voters. In the other two options under discussion so far it seems as there could be many situations where voters would be faced with the choice of voting for their favourite candidate or voting for a 2nd choice so that their least favoured option would be less likely to gain a seat. So I favour system C followed by A and finally B. But if it comes to a vote under a system other than C, I might have to support A."



  • I belief that we have to choose a Premier Commissioner and Commissioner separately, as they have a totally different job. What?s the job of a Commissioner? He or she has to write legislation, make sure that everything goes well within his office. For the Commission for Economics, you can use someone who know a lot about economics, for example: Commissioner Reed.

    Who do you need as Premier Commissioner? Well, it should be someone with nice character, but with some authority, and with the ability to people. He has to lead the Commission, with Commissioners of several europarties in it, all having their ideas and their ideas. At the same time, he or she has to make sure that the European Union and the Councillors speak with one voice when they have to do so, for example during another Monogolian crisis.

    I think everyone should be able to pick the candidate he likes most, for the job he?ll do best. If you don?t, you create situations that someone votes for a candidate, thinking that candidate will be an amazing Commissioner. But that candidate becomes Premier Commissioner, and he?s just awful. That?s not very nice for the guys who elected him? They elected him for a job they thought he would be very good at. And maybe, he would have been an amazing Commissioner. But at the end, he has to do something completely different. And he isn?t able to do it properly. Who wins? No one. Certainly not the European Union.



  • QUOTE

    What?s the job of a Commissioner? He or she has to write legislation

    This is one of the reasons that the Constitution is in dire need of overhaul. It contains a surprising amount of conflicting information concerning the Council and Commission. The Council "forms the sole and supreme legislative body" of the region. Councillors "represent their government and state before the Council itself" while the Commission "consists of five members, each not representing and not being related to any government of the European Union". Thus, Commissioners cannot be Councillors, and thus Commissioners are not part of the Council, and thus have no share in the sole and supreme legislative body. Meanwhile, this is undermined by allowing "All citizens and nationals" to introduce legislation into the Council, potentially allowing Commissioners to do so, and allowing the Premier to preside "over the meetings of the European Council" and even vote in it (which is illegal on so many different levels). The Council is either the "sole and supreme" legislative body or it's not. Either that is wrong, or the other clauses are wrong. I am more inclined to believe that "sole and supreme" overrides the rest because the others are capable of bending and this one is written in absolute terms. "Sole" doesn't allow for exceptions. Because it is already established that commissioners cannot be councillors, there is a strong case that drafting legislation could be an impeachable offense. My government is more likely to sue than impeach, and only for blatant crossing of Council power, but the option IS on the table.

    So, what is the job of a Commissioner? NOT to write legislation, for one. The Commission is the "sole and supreme" executive body of the region. Its function is executive, not legislative.

    QUOTE

    At the same time, he or she has to make sure that the European Union and the Councillors speak with one voice when they have to do so, for example during another Monogolian crisis.

    When that happens, let me know. If that's the measuring stick, then both Monogolia and Dromund Kaas were disasters for the office. The Council was divided in both cases and unable to take action as a unified body.

    QUOTE

    But at the end, he has to do something completely different. And he isn?t able to do it properly

    This is what impeachment is for. If he can't do the job, simply relieve him of office. It's nothing personal, he just needs to step down in favor of someone who can. It's highly unlikely to be accidentally voted Premier anyway. It's unlikely enough to be voted Premier in the first place.

    With all that said, I prefer system A because it forces parties to choose between packing and cracking. Voting means more in the old system. Granted, my second preference is System C because the will of voters comes out better if you can understand how it works. System B is so bad that I wouldn't even rank it in an alternative vote system. I wanted it at first, but now that I've seen how it works, it's difficult to call that democracy. Talented and qualified people can be kept from even running for Premier due to party line voting.



  • First of all, to impeach a Commissioner for example, you need a super majority. Even the worst Commissioner has his europarty, to block an impeachment voting if necessary. If you can make sure such things don't happen, why wouldn't you?

    Secondly, I don?t agree. The aim of System B is to than more support than only your own europarty. As no one will risk to run for Premier Commissioner if he hasn?t any chance to win, he will try to look for support further. He?ll look for a party that isn?t willing to have a candidate for the Premiership, he?ll try to convince them. With System B, you also need more candidates, so more people will be able to prove themselves during elections, and will get the chance to get more involved in European politics.

    Talented and qualified people will be given the chance to show their debating and negotiating skills, which are very important if they want a European office. With System A, you have much more party line voting. The candidate with the largest europarty wins. Also, when you have 5 candidates, and they each get around 20%, but there is one who gets 21%, and he becomes Premier Commissioner. Do you call that democracy? With system A, people get the highest office of the European Union, only getting 35/40% of support. The Ninth Commission elections resulted in a runoff between two candidates getting each 29% of the votes. We were lucky there was a runoff, because if there would have been one vote different, the Premier Commissioner would have been elected with 29% of the votes. Do you call that democracy? In the recent history of the European Union, current Premier Commissioner Liszckoszi is the only who got elected with an absolute majority, 52% to be exactly. Thanks to what? Thanks to System B. Finally, there was a European Commissioner who had broad support.

    And I can understand that the Angleteric candidate Cherton had some remarks about the system. I understand those, and that?s why I?d like to adapt system B to a totally separated election: or participating to the Commission elections, or running for the premiership. But not both.


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